Friday, March 28, 2014

A Lucky Find

Do your family members have any opinions about your scrapbooking?  Though my son usually has little to say about my pages, he recently came to me with a special request.  He wants me to do more pages about our cats.  I am happy to oblige.

Supplies: patterned papers from KaiserCraft; notebook papers from Cachet; mists from October Afternoon; stamp from Paper Inspirations; green ink from Hero Arts; gold ink from Tsukineko; pens from Zig; green staples from Target; ribbons from Scrapbook Fantasies; doilies and metal embellishments from We Call Her Happydaks etsy; thread from DMC; corner punch from Creative Memories.

The page above, entitled "Lucky Find," is about Shadow, the homeless kitty that my husband rescued from an animal shelter.  Shadow is no longer with us, but she brought fourteen years of love and happiness to our family.  She was definitely a lucky find!

I based my page on the March 15 sketch from "Stuck?! Sketches."  I also used the threefold criteria from Berry71Bleu's "Luck of the Irish" challenge: to use a lot of green, include the word "lucky" and add lace/doilies.  Here are a couple detail shots:

To get the doily look behind the photo, I misted over a large metal charm.  I love repurposing household objects as stencils and masks!

I thought the metal charm in the center of my layout resembled a clover.  If a 4-leaf clover is lucky, then a 5-leaf clover (like my charm) must be really, really lucky, right?  :)

The color green has been on my mind for awhile now, because of St. Patrick's Day.  It was fun to finally make a green layout, just in the nick of time before the end of the month.  Thanks for stopping by my blog to see my "Lucky Find" today!

ETA: Yay, my page got an Honorable Mention at Berry 71 Bleu.  Thanks, Marivic & Co.!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fox Poll Results (T-Tues)

Hello, and thank you for visiting my blog today.  Just like most Tuesdays, today I'm enjoying "T Tuesday"  This week I have lemon-hibiscus herbal tea (from Target) in my cup, and a seasonally appropriate hot cross bun (from a local bakery) is on my plate. 

I've been working on a lot of creative projects lately, but there is nothing I can show on my blog just yet.  What I can do is show you the results of the fox poll that I ran last week.  The results of the poll were very close, with these three cuties tying for first place:
Doodlebug Design

Lawn Fawn

Echo Park

The remaining four foxes all tied for second place.  Here they are:
Jillibean Soup

October Afternoon

Two Peas in a Bucket

Bella Blvd

Thanks go out to everyone who voted and/or commented on the fox poll.  It was interesting for me to read your remarks about foxes also showing up a lot in other craft areas, such as fabric prints and knitting patterns.  I wonder how long foxes will stay in fashion.  And what will the next trend be?  (Any predictions?)  Personally, I hope that foxes stay trendy for awhile.  So far in my papercrafting I have only used two of the seven foxes from the poll, and I'd like to get a chance to use the remaining five.  :)

That's all from me for today.  I'm looking forward to visiting all the other blogs in the T Tuesday link-up.  If you want to see what it's all about, head on over to Elizabeth and Bleubeard's blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tea, Mixed Media, and a Fox Poll

It's that funny, in-between time of year.  The calendar says that it's almost spring.  But the snow outside warns us not to get our hopes up too much.  On cold, damp days like this, a spot of coffee or tea is just what we all need.  So, I'm joining in with Elizabeth and Bleubeard's weekly virtual tea party.  Here's what's on my table...

Speaking of cold weather, I have a winter-themed project to share with you today.  Here is the "before" shot...

You may remember this collage that I created back in January, as part of my Ten on the Tenth project.  At the time, I didn't know how I was going to use the collage.  Since then, I have come up with an idea for it.
Additional supplies for finished collage: assorted paints and glitter from Ranger; assorted spray inks from October Afternoon; stamping ink from Hero Arts; upcycled bubble wrap; animal stickers from Doodlebug Design; alphabet sticker negatives from Simple Stories; thread from Singer; pen from Zig; spiderweb ribbon from my stash; colored staples from Target.

Ta da!  Above you see the "after" shot.  I made the collage into a wall hanging for my husband's home office.  It features the text of his favorite poem, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.

I did some mixed media work on this piece.  Even though I don't do mixed media as often as many of you guys do, I still like it.  It's very "green," since it involves using what is at hand.  For example, on this piece I stamped with bubble wrap, stenciled with alphabet sticker negatives, and misted/masked with a found objects.  Here are some detail shots...

Cute little animal stickers from Doodlebug complete my design.

There is just something about foxes.  So many paper companies have been coming out with adorable fox images.  I thought it would be fun to close out this post by showing you seven of my favorite fox motifs and inviting you to vote for your favorite(s).  The poll is at the top of my sidebar, just below the translation widget.  Here are your choices:

Bella Blvd
image source

Doodlebug Design
image source

Echo Park
image source

Jillibean Soup
image source

Lawn Fawn
image source

October Afternoon
image source

Two Peas in a Bucket
image source

I know some of the images are a bit fuzzy, but you can follow the source links for a clearer look, if you wish.  This is the first time I've ever used the Blogger poll widget, and I hope that I have set everything up correctly!  I do want to let you know that you can vote for more than one fox.  I think it's hard to chose just one.  :)

Vote away, and have a Happy T Day!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

All for the Love of Tigers (SA & SATW)

Supplies: alphabet stickers, "Place" sticker, & grid paper from October Afternoon; all other paper from KaiserCraft; "Adventure" sticker from Echo Park; all metal embellishments from We Call Her Happydaks Etsy; rhinestones from Dee's Place; pen from Zig.

Welcome to my blog, whether you are a returning reader or a new one.  If you're a returning reader, you probably know that I love nature, and in particular I love animals.  You also probably know that my family visits zoos frequently to see the animals there.  Perhaps you've sometimes wondered how I, as an animal lover, can justify the fact that zoos "incarcerate" wild animals.  Well, I am actually a big fan of zoos (as least the two zoos in our Twin Cities area, which are very humane), and this layout explains one reason why I feel this way.  But before we get into all that, let's take care of the particulars.

I'm always looking for sketches that include multiple photos and space for lots of journaling, so I was very excited to use this sketch from the current Scrap Africa challenge.  I flipped it to suit my photos and filled the "white space" with my journaling.

With this layout I'm also playing along with this month's Scrap Around the World challenge.  I was inspired by their mood board (pictured above), but not in the obvious way, since I used very little pink.  Instead, I was drawn to the image of the big, beautiful rose that crowns the cupcake, so I used various papers with images of roses on my layout.  I also liked the keys on the typewriter, so part of my page title is spelled out with round alphabet stickers that resemble old fashioned typewriter keys.

A few detail shots...
~ a fussy-cut rose is peeking out from behind the photo~

~a pretty rose printed in the corner of the paper helps anchor the design~

~the tiger's tail helps break up the long title, leaving a space between "love" and "of" :)

And now, if you're still wondering about my feelings regarding zoos and tigers, here is my journaling.  It's pretty long, so feel free to skip it if you're not in the mood for reading an essay.  :)  The gist of it is that I'm proud of and thankful for the conservation work that our local zoos are doing, to save tigers and other endangered species.

My journaling:

I count myself lucky to have seen tigers in my lifetime.  According to the professor of the ecology class that I took in college, the world's tiger population is so severely depleted that the remaining gene pool might not be large enough and diverse enough to sustain many more generations. In other words, the tiger is so endangered that it might even go extinct during my lifetime.

However, the Como Park Zoo and the Minnesota Zoo are trying their best not to let this happen.  Both of these local zoos have Amur tigers, formerly called Siberian tigers.  (The Russian signage at the Minnesota Zoo even makes visitors feel like they're in Siberia!)  Usually the best place for wild animals is in the wild, but in this case a well-designed zoo environment is actually quite good.  The Twin Cities zoos' tigers participate in breeding programs devised to try to increase and diversify the tiger population.

I fervently hope that captive breeding programs (as well as conservation efforts in the natural habitats of tigers) can save this gorgeous beast.  It would be a shame if we humans, with all our knowledge and technology, could not save the largest of all the big cats from extinction.

~Are we in Russia or the USA? :)

~some bilingual signage~

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  :)  Thanks for stopping by my blog today to see my tiger layout.  Take care!

Monday, March 10, 2014

10 on the 10th...and Tea!

Hello, friends!  Not only is it time for my monthly "Ten on the Tenth" destashing post, but it's also tea time with Elizabeth and Bleubeard.  Happy T Day!  :) 

I'm eager to tell you about the tea bag card in the above picture.  But first, let me walk you the photos of this month's Ten on the Tenth stash items.  If you are new to my "10 on the 10th" posts, this is how it works: on the tenth day of each month, I share three projects (one card, one scrapbook page, and one "use up the scraps" project) that I created in order to use up ten items from my supply stash.  This month I decided to use up newer items, most of which I bought at Archivers in late December, when I realized that the store would soon be going out of business.
items 1&2 (bases): green & blue cardstock from Bazzill; items 3&4 (patterned paper): set of 6 prefold patterned cards from Canvas Corp. & set of 6 Project Life-style cards from Fancy Pants; items 5&6 (nonconsumables--these get used, but they don't get used up): penguin stamp from Savvy Stamps & sentiment stamp set from Lawn Fawn.
items 7&8 (embellishments): 12" strip of red canvas trim from Canvas Corp. & partially-used birthday sticker sheet from Bella Blvd; items 9&10 (throwaway items): lid from old coffee jar & clipping from international bubble mailer.

A couple month ago I blogged about a cool Christmas card that I had received.  I liked it because it contained a tea bag, and I was determined to make my own version of a tea bag card.  I finally came up with a design.  It's a birthday card, and very different from the Christmas card that I received.  I am excited to show you how I took the idea of a tea bag card and "made it my own."
Additional supplies for card front: spray ink from October Afternoon; pens from Zig; Candi dots from Craftwork; corner punch from Creative Memories.

I used a length of the canvas trim from my supply stash to make a little "belly band" that holds the tea bag in place.  I decorated the belly band with cardstock, a sticker, and Candi dots.  Then, to make this card even fancier, I decided to decorate the inside and back surfaces as well.

This is how the left-hand panel of the inside of the card looks.  I love the saying on that big sticker!  Some of the spray mist that I had used on the front of the card seeped through, but I just worked with it, adding even more spray ink drips around the sticker, to create a bokeh effect.

I decorated the right-hand panel of the inside of the card with patterned paper and stamping (alternating first and second generation stamping).  I pulled a string from the red canvas trim and folded it into a heart-shaped embellishment, which I fastened in place using washi tape from We Call Her Happydaks.

Finally, I embellished the back of the card with a cheerful cluster that is made up of the airmail seal, some patterned paper, a sticker, more canvas fibers, and more of the same washi tape.  I really enjoyed decorating all four surfaces of the card.  Now it is almost like a mini book instead of just a card.

And this is how the card will look after the recipient removes the tea bag.  I tried to capture a "party atmosphere" in my design.  :)
Additional supplies for layout: border stickers & owl from Doodlebug Design; alphabet stickers from Bella Blvd; Candi dots from Craftwork; pens from Zig.

Moving on, here is the scrapbook page that I created with the same set of supplies.  I pulled some more threads from the canvas and tied them into bows to create little embellishments.  I used the bubble wrap from the mailer to stamp an interesting background on the cardstock.  And, of course, the birthday stickers from the Bella Blvd sheet reinforce the birthday theme of this layout.
Additional supplies for accordion album: tape from We Call Her Happydaks Etsy; black gesso from Ranger; stamping ink from Hero Arts; pens from Zig; rhinestones from Dee's Place; household mini stapler.

Last but not least is a work in progress (WIP), which will use up all the leftover scraps from the supplies that I pulled for this month's Ten on the Tenth.  The happy red polka dotted cards made me think of Chinese New Year, so I decided to create a mini accordion album (inspired by this video) with my Year of the Horse celebration photos.  I still needed to use my coffee jar lid, so I dipped the rim of the lid into black gesso to stamp interesting journaling box shapes onto the plain white sides of patterned paper scraps.  These journaling boxes, together with the accordion album and my other remaining scraps, easily slip into a little bag that I can keep on my desk or tote along to a crop.  When ever I have a few extra minutes, I can decorate another page in the album, using the same basic design that I used for the front cover.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my birthday card, scrapbook page, and accordion album WIP.  I really enjoy coming up with creative ways to use up my Ten on the Tenth supplies, and it feels good to do this bit of de-stashing.  I have to head out for a little while now, but I'll be around soon to visit everyone else's blogs and see what is new with you all.  Happy T Day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CPC March Challenge

It's the first Wednesday in March, which means it's time for a new prompt at Child's Play Challenges!  This month, we want to see how you are inspired by pipe cleaners, like those you see in the images above.

Supplies: strawberry paper from Jillibean Soup; journaling tags & striped paper from Crate; upcycled clothing tag; label stickers from October Afternoon; tab sticker & "Sweet" sticker from Echo Park; all other stickers from Bo Bunny; Candi dots from Craftwork; paint from Ranger; pens from Zig; household stapler; pipe cleaner & kitty bead from my stash.

For my DT sample, I decided that soft, fuzzy pipe cleaners were the perfect accent for a page about my soft, fuzzy cat.

I used a pipe cleaner as a photo border.  To dress it up, I strung a Hello Kitty bead onto it, and I attached the pipe cleaner to my photo mat with staples.

I also stapled tiny snippets of pipe cleaner onto the journaling tags.  This makes a unique change from the string or ribbon that one usually sees at the tops of tags.

I am really enjoying being a part of Child's Play Challenges.  The whimsical inspiration images and think-outside-the-box challenges are so fun.  I hope that you'll get a chance to join in the fun and play along with us this month.  You have until March 30 to upload your layouts to the CPC blog.  Happy scrapping!